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E-assessment and globalization: tracing E-Assessment practices with social network analysis and actor network theory

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Speech

Publication date12/10/2013
<mark>Original language</mark>English
EventALT-C 2013 - Building new cultures of learning - Nottingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 10/09/201312/09/2013


ConferenceALT-C 2013 - Building new cultures of learning
CountryUnited Kingdom


Using two network theories, material semiotics and social network analysis, this literature review explores the research of e-assessment within the context of globalization between 2008 and 2012. The of three concepts in the cultural theory of globalization; differenitalism, convergence and hybridization are used in this review to look for evidence in citation networks of how research on e-assessment is globally shared.

An interest in e-assessment is clearly a global phenomenon yet there are certain regions where the production or consumption of literature on e-assessment is more evident. The majority of research output belongs to British and Taiwanese authors published in the British Journal of Educational Technology and Computers & Education. However, just as striking is almost complete absence of publications on e-assessment from India and South American and African countries.

Social network analysis (SNA) tools were used, employing SNA concepts such as degrees and edges, to observe features in the global transfer of research on e-assessment. While technologies may make it easier to communicate and be a key element in globalization. 90% of published research communication remained between the US, Taiwan and the UK. While Taiwan had a high in-degree rate with the UK and the US, less that 3% of directed edges were between the US and UK, separated by their respective ‘psychometric epistemology’ and ‘expert judgement’ approaches towards e-assessment. Assumptions that the American-English higher education systems are part of an imagined community seem to be contradicted by both a reliance of some research communities on their own resources as well as very few edges between the US and UK.

Employing the notion of aggregated relationality, SNA techniques were used with tools to map the socio-technical cartography of entities by deploying or redeploying their attributes.

This study also reflected on the methodological issues related to using social network analysis . A problem associated with this approach is, to paraphrase John Law, is to ‘distort into clarity’ the practices of e-assessment. Conscious of the risk of being seduced by the elegance of network visualisations an a discussion of the ‘black boxing’ that takes place before and during this kind of analysis is made.